Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway

This species occurs in Central and South America, as well as parts of southernmost North America. It is extremely unlikely to appear naturally in Europe but escaped individuals may possibly be encountered. One such bird toured the north Norfolk coast a couple of years ago.

When I found the individual from California below I was not aware that the species had ever been recorded in the state and I imagined that it was perhaps also an escaped bird. It was only after I returned home to England that I discovered that in the past 2-3 years there had been a spate of records of this species in the state along with some other southern raptors that don't normally occur in California and that the species had very recently been added to the California list. It was nevertheless a very good find in California and one or two local birders were able to connect with this bird after I had seen it.

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Crested Caracara, Snake Road (Florida, USA), 25th April 2013

 

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Crested Caracara, Point Reyes (California, USA), 3rd May 2005